The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in response to the metering mandate of the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission has promised to meter all its customers in five years. The company said that it has completed metering of all identified maximum demand (MD) customers and now is embarking on a mandate to meter all customers across it network in the next five years in order to help reduce the problem of estimated billing.
It is generally believed that lack of meters which leads to estimated billing is the cause of over-billing. Electricity consumers believe that if the DisCos meter them all, there will be no need for estimated billing, therefore no cause for over-billing.
However, John Donnachie. the Managing Director of the distribution company said that complete metering alone is not enough to end the estimated billing system. He revealed that about 80% of installed meters are tampered with or bypassed. He suggested that more serious actions be taken by the law when it comes to electricity theft.
“Metering is not the only solution to effective billing, as for every meter installed, 80 per cent of them are by-passed. What we need is to execute severe sanctions on power thieves and those who vandalise electricity equipment. People are not paying because there are no sanctions.”
He also added that it will cost about N50 million to N60 million to meter their customers, assuring that this has not affected the company’s resolve to meter all their customers. The Managing Director did not disclose how the company will be getting this fund, especially considering the fact that the company has recently lamented its monthly loss of about $15.2 million.